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Why is Coffee Served So Hot? – Know the Side Effects of Drinking Too Much Hot Coffee


why coffee served hot
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Do you ever wonder why many popular coffee shops such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, etc. serve extremely hot coffee?

Do you really get irritated by waiting to cool down your hot coffee so that you can have your joyful sips as quick as possible?

If you are wondering why coffee usually serves really hot in coffee shops, then I have some interesting insights about hot coffee for you.

I will also discuss the effects of hot coffee on our health.

And there are few more interesting facts for you in this article.

Many people complain that the coffee of some famous cafes like MacDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts is extremely hot.

It is made very hot for those who have to travel long distances so that when they reach their destination they still have a cup of fresh and hot coffee.

Many cases have also been filed against MacDonald’s for delivering insanely hot coffee.

But the people who want the coffee hot have a larger ratio.

That’s the reason they have not changed their temperature levels yet.

To avoid hot burns, these coffee shops mainly use stiff coffee cups.

However, if you consume extremely hot coffee, then it may cause some serious side effects for you.

Really hot coffee could be carcinogenic.

It can cause burns of esophagus.

Constant consumption of extremely hot coffee could also stimulate the formation of tumors.

To prevent these health issues, I highly recommend to drink your hot coffee through properly insulated stainless steel coffee cups or mugs.

These mugs keep your coffee warm for long period and they do not cause coffee burns.

Now, let us dive deep in this topic to clear all the misunderstandings about hot coffee.

Table of Contents

The two popular coffee shops which serve insanely hot coffee are MacDonald’s and Starbucks.

These brands serve hot coffee according to their customer’s choice.

90-96 degrees Celsius is the standard temperature for brewing their coffee.

Do you know that MacDonald’s serves its coffee at 180 degrees Fahrenheit?

So, it’s about 10 times the room temperature.

They serve the coffee hot to maintain the freshness and quality as the team says so.

There is also another reason to it.

They design it in this way so that coffee lovers who travel, can also enjoy hot coffee for a bit longer.

It also makes you alert and drives the sleep away while traveling.

Even if such a hot coffee has caused burns and many lawsuits for the company, they have not changed the temperature level of their coffee.

The temperature of the coffee served at Starbucks ranges from 150-170 degrees Fahrenheit.

The hottest drinks served at Starbucks include Americano, Doppio, Caramel Macchiato, and Flat White.

Why Coffee is Usually Served So Hot?

The main reason, mentioned by several baristas, behind serving steaming hot coffee is to provide a fresh, crisp and energetic drinking experience for their consumers.

The high-quality beans reflect a novel taste when served at a boiling hot temperature.

Another reason is that when you taste extremely hot or cold coffee your tongue fails to taste the bitterness of the beans.

In this way, you will only feel the aroma and signature flavor of the coffee while the bitterness will remain suppressed.

The coffee at room temperature tastes bad and bitter.

You can either drink it really cold or hot but the temperature that lies between the two extremes makes the coffee taste awful.

Researches have been carried out to find the reason, but no sufficient evidence has been found yet.

According to Karel Talavera, when the bitter molecules are at high temperature, the bitter receptors present on our tongue are unable to identify them.

The high temperature also weakens our ability to taste bitterness in the coffee.

Therefore, I think this is a smart strategy discovered by coffee shop owners to hide the bitterness of their coffee.

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Is Coffee Best Served Hot or Cold?

Here, we are going to discuss a comparison between hot coffee and iced coffee.

Their origin is same, that is the same beans; but have entirely different taste.

The main difference between the two is of temperature, off course.

Cold coffee is cold and often made with a cold brew.

Hot coffee can be brewed with several methods.

The taste of the coffee essentially depends on the type of coffee brew; whether it’s hot or cold brew.

Cold coffee can be brewed hot or cold while hot coffee can only be hot brewed.

Hot brewing has really fast speed so it makes the coffee stronger and bold.

On the other side, cold brew coffee has a gentle and mild taste in comparison to hot coffee.

Cold brew takes longer time, somewhere between 8-18 hours.

So, if you are short of time then you should take hot coffee to fulfill your caffeine requirement.

The cold coffee prepared with cold brew is high in caffeine while iced coffee prepared with hot brew is similar like hot coffee.

If you look with a perspective of healthy coffee among the two, then I must say that hot coffee is healthier than the cold coffee.

It extracts larger number of antioxidants from the brew.

This is my opinion but you can choose the one that goes well with your tastes and preferences.

What Are the Health Side Effects of Drinking Really Hot Coffee?

Warm beverages are not dangerous and do not pose any threat to our body.

However, according to WHO reports, an extremely hot coffee could be carcinogenic.

Coffee heated up to 149 degrees Fahrenheit or 65 degree Celsius can cause severe esophageal cancer.

If you want to study the effects of extremely hot coffee, the I recommend to check out this article from The Lancet Oncology journal.

The cells of esophagus could also be damaged by extremely hot drinks, leading to the 8th most common cancer worldwide.

Coffees and teas are served really hot in the states like Middle East, South America & East Africa.

Water boils at 100 degree Celsius (212 degrees F) and the water coming out of sink taps is usually 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The coffee served at popular coffee shops is hotter than the water coming out of taps but lower than boiling point of water.

It can easily burn your palate and if spilled will cause burns on your body.

Such cases and the lawsuits against McDonald’s have already been reported at this website.

It’s just as dangerous as exposing yourself to gasoline & lead.

Thus, coffee itself is not that carcinogenic.

But the temperature and the steam rising from a cup of coffee is somewhat harmful for your body.

How Long Does It Take for Hot Coffee To Cool Down in the Fridge?

Here, one thing I strongly want to tell you is to never drink stale coffee.

If your coffee is extremely hot, then you can put it in fridge for a while.

But, I must say that it’s not a good idea.

If you put your coffee in fridge, how will you know that it has cooled down or is ready for drinking?

Will you stand by and keep checking on regular intervals that whether the coffee has cooled down or not?

By storing your coffee in a fridge, it does not cool down, rather it becomes cold.

If this happens, then there is no meaning of consuming such cold coffee from the fridge.

There are numerous other ways of cooling down your coffee rather than putting it in your refrigerator.

Some of those methods are mentioned as follows.

1. A variety of dairy and non-dairy creamers and types of milk are available in market.

You can add a cold shot to your coffee to make it drinkable.

2. Add in a single ice cube, which will melt in seconds to lower your coffee temperature.

Although, I must tell you that by adding ice cubes to your coffee, you dilute its flavor and taste a bit.

3. Take small sips while blowing on each sip to at least lower the temperature on the surface.

4. You can remove the lid of the coffee cup to let it cool quickly.

You may place it back after a few minutes when steam cools down.

5. To dramatically lower the temperature of the coffee, you may use a metal spoon and keep stirring your coffee for a while.

These are few smart methods you can follow to cool down your coffee instead of placing it in a fridge.

What is the Actual Temperature of the Coffee Served at Starbucks?

Starbucks serves coffee in a range of 150-170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperature as low as 130 degrees Fahrenheit is also available.

The common methods for coffee preparation at Starbucks include espresso machines for fine grinding, coffee press for rough grinding & home brewer.

The main steps of the procedure are:

a, Proportioning of coffee beans

b, Grinding

c, Checking the water content.

Finally, taste the freshness and enjoy your dose of caffeine.

Here, at Starbucks you can also order “Latte Extra Hot”.

In this, the baristas will increase the brewing time and serve you extra hot coffee if you need.

How to Drink Hot Coffee without Burning Yourself?

There are several precautionary measures you can take to protect yourself from burning.

I am listing few of the simple methods here.

1. Fabric sleeves for holding coffee cups are easily available in market.

You can use them to hold your coffee cup to avoid skin burns.

2. If you are carrying a cup of coffee on a walk, then walk slowly so that it won’t spill on you.

3. Avoid drinking hot coffee while driving.

4. Use insulated coffee mugs with strong lids to keep your coffee secure when traveling.

But if you still can’t handle hot coffee and drink it without burning yourself, then its better you switch to cold coffee.

Final Thoughts

You have reached the end of this article.

This means you now know why most popular coffee shops serve their coffee so hot.

The two most popular brands that serve extremely hot coffee are Mac Donald’s and Starbucks.

You are now aware about the basic differences between hot coffee and cold coffee which will help you choose the right one.

Too much consumption of hot coffee could be carcinogenic for you.

So, it is essential for your good health to drink medium hot coffee only.

Also avoid cooling your coffee in the fridge.

I highly recommend to follow the simple methods mentioned in the last section to avoid getting burned yourself due to the hot coffee.

I hope with this article, you have become much more educated and self-aware about what type of coffee to consume on a regular basis.

References:

https://www.larryhparker.com/hot-coffee-update-restaurants-still-serving-beverages-at-high-temperatures/

https://www.wikihow.com/Drink-Hot-Coffee-Without-Burning-Yourself

https://www.wired.com/2016/11/physics-says-best-way-deal-hot-coffee/

https://lexolife.com/blogs/news/can-you-put-hot-coffee-in-the-fridge-and-other-caffeinated-questions

https://thewholeportion.com/how-hot-is-starbucks-coffee/

https://www.thecut.com/2018/11/hot-coffee-is-better-for-you-than-cold-coffee.html

https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/15/health/coffee-tea-hot-drinks-cancer-risk/index.html

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